Objective: To determine whether placement of photographs of physicians in hospital rooms improves patients' satisfaction with their medical care.
Patients and methods: This is a prospective, controlled study of 224 patients admitted to general internal medicine services in a teaching hospital. The intervention consisted of photographs (8 x 10 in) of attending and resident physicians displayed in the patients' rooms. Before dismissal, patients completed a survey that required them to match names with photographs of physician caregivers and included patient satisfaction questions. The primary outcome was whether patients who had photographs in their hospital room would correctly identify more physicians than those with no photographs in their room.
Results: The presence of photographs on the hospital wall was associated with a significant improvement in the number of physicians identified correctly (odds ratio [OR], 1.83; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47-2.27; P<.001). The percentage of physicians that patients identified by correctly matching their physicians' names to their photographs was significantly associated with satisfaction with physician responsiveness (OR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.01-1.40; P=.03) and with the way in which physicians addressed questions regarding medical care (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.05-1.44; P=.05).
Conclusions: Patients who had photographs of their physicians on the wall of their hospital room were able to identify correctly a larger number of physicians on their team compared with patients who had no photographs. Patient satisfaction was related to the number of physicians' photographs that patients could identify correctly.